Are Companies Finally Warming to Social Media?

Author: Adi Gaskell
Published: March 06, 2012 at 5:44 am

social media is increasingly allowed at workI've argued many times that social media is a positive force in the workplace, so it's heartening to see that employers finally appear to be warming to social media usage in the workplace, with a 20% fall in the number of companies banning access to social media at work.

Research agency Gartner report that 50% of companies banned access to social media for employees as recently as 2010, but that by 2014 the figure is set to drop to just 30%.

"Even in those organizations that (nowadays) block all access to social media, blocks tend not to be complete," said Andrew Walls, research vice president at Gartner. "Certain departments and processes, such as marketing, require access to external social media, and employees can circumvent blocks by using personal devices such as smartphones."

"Organizations should not ignore social media and social identity," added Walls. "We recommend that organizations ascertain how they currently use internal and external social media in both official and unofficial ways, and look for dissonance between IAM practices and the identity needs, opportunities and risks of social media."

According to the report, the research firm surveyed around 1400 chief information officers and 54% of them said that social networking websites were blocked at their offices.

Research suggests that companies traditionally go through six stages of social media adoption:


  1. Folly – when people think social media is a waste of time
  2. Fearful – when people are scared of giving people a voice
  3. Flippant – neither fear nor fervor.  Build and pray approach.
  4. Formulating – when value is seen and strategies attempted
  5. Forging – where people integrate social media into their daily lives and it breaks out of a community manager/marketing dept responsibility
  6. Fusing – the most advanced attitude, when social media philosophies are at the heart of everything we do.

Continued on the next page

About this article

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Article Author: Adi Gaskell

A writer on management issues for publications such as Professional Manager, CMI, HRM Today, Business Works and Technorati. I also cover social media for Social Media Today, DZone and Social Business News.

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